Fotis Vergopoulos set to lead ‘Rebetiko Caravan’ tour across Australia

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The raw and captivating sound of rebetika (Greek blues), is the music of the Greek underground, expressing themes of love, pain and hashish.

Straight from the source, Greece, Fotis Vergopoulos will lead Rebetiko Caravan – a line-up of local heavyweight rebetiko musicians. The tour kicks off on October 20 with shows in Melbourne, Perth, Canberra and Sydney.

Belying his young age, Vergopoulos is acknowledged as an authority of the genre in Greece and among the diaspora. He represents the new generation of talent and never ceases to surprise his audiences with authentic and rarely heard rebetiko tunes.

Vergopoulos was initiated into the world of music at the age of six by his father, Nikos, a founding member of the renowned group Apodimi Kompania. Vergopoulos has toured Europe extensively as well as Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

He currently lives in Athens where he has performed with many notable artists including Agathonas Iakovidis, Martha Fritzila, Babis Gkoles and Manolis Pappos, to name a few.

“No matter where I’ve played, even in Madagascar, people have a strong emotional response to rebetika. It’s a universal experience. We come together to express pain and joy and healing,” Vergopoulos says.

“Rebetiko is a sound that transcends borders and has a home in the hearts of its listeners.”

A harrowing political decision to forcibly exchange ethnic minority populations between Greece and Asia Minor in the early 1920s is what marked the rise of Rebetika. Beyond their suitcases, the dispossessed carried with them traditions, nostalgia and music.

Rebetika is a cathartic expression of pain, exile, love and loss; the simple yet brutal lyrics reflecting the
gritty reality of the time. There is a strong resurgence of this fringe genre among younger generations who, in the face of today’s harsh political realities, find solace in the very same songs that consoled people over one hundred years ago.

Tour dates:
20 OCT | Brunswick Ballroom | Melbourne
21 OCT | Hellenic Club | Perth
28 OCT | Smith’s Alternative | Canberra
29 OCT | Mytilenian House | Sydney

You can purchase tickets here: www.greekfringe.com.

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